Sea level variations at Monterey, California
Bretschneider, Dale Emil
Thompson, Warren C.
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Seasonal, monthly, weekly, and hourly sea level variability at Monterey, California is described and the oceanic and atmospheric processes which cause these variations are examined. Monthly mean sea level anomalies at Monterey are significantly correlated with those observed at tide stations as distant as Prince Rupert, Canada and Callao, Peru, indicating that these anomalies are related to large scale rather than to strictly local atmospheric or oceanic changes. Multiple regression analysis indicates that monthly anomalies of atmospheric pressure, sea surface temperature, and meridional wind stress account for much of the observed monthly sea level variability. Sea level elevations at Monterey, when adjusted for the atmospheric pressure (barometric) effect, show a seasonal high in winter and a minimum in spring. These seasonal variations are in phase with those of nearby steric height observations. There is also good agreement between weekly mean sea level and steric height observations in a time-series sense. Because of the close agreement between sea level and steric height, and the high correlation of Monterey sea level with that at nearby tide stations, steric height and sea level variations both must be related to variations in the geostrophic current flow.
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